Walter Howard won the KAP MMA Heavyweight Title in the main event.
KAP MMA took its amateur mixed martial arts show to the Rahway Convention Center in Rahway, New Jersey, on Saturday, November 19th, featuring six total fights with a pair of championship bouts. Following is a recap of the action.
Justin Szabicki (2-1) vs. Johnathon Wright (0-1)
The evening got underway with a pair of junior heavyweight fighters that saw Szabicki make use of a fast right hand he developed through a baseball career he took all the way to the college level. The Carnicella MMA representative worked the Muay Thai clinch throughout the contest, unleashing a series of quick knees and swinging hooks. When not standing, Szabicki took it to the ground and controlled from the top position while striking to the body. After clearly getting the better of the affair, he eventually emerged with a unanimous decision victory by scoring flush 30-27 tallies.
Brian Giraldo (0-1) vs. Maykon Santos (3-0)
Giraldo was making his debut in this affair, and he received a nice roar from the Rahway crowd when he entered the cage. He had a bit of anxious energy that was countered by a poise Santos, and the Brazilian fighter used his calm demeanor to avoid much damage. The second round was greeted with a nice stand-up exchange, and Santos was forced to take it to the ground after Giraldo landed a flush right hand. After a reversal that put him on top, Santos applied a leg choke, but the will of his opponent would not allow him to be finished and eventually worked his way out of the danger to make the second bell. In the third frame, powerful strikes were immediately exchanged until Santos showed where he was most comfortable and took it back to the canvas. The action would eventually conclude with a floor grapple, and Santos took a split decision win by counts of 29-28 twice and 28-29.
Hansel Urena (0-1) vs. Luis Finateri (2-5)
Finateri needed just 1:52 to end the amateur debut of Urena in this match. Urena looked to start quickly and came out firing, landing some straight jabs before scoring a takedown. However, Finateri then worked into north/south positioning and slid down to crank on a triangle back-up choke, forcing the tap of his opponent.
Mark Fileccia (2-0) vs. Angel Rodriguez (0-1)
Fileccia registered the second stoppage of the night in the second round of this battle after handling the opening frame with leg kicks and jabs, which he followed up by controlling Rodriguez on the ground. In that second round, Flieccia was retreating from the stand-up before timing a takedown. He then worked himself into an arm bar and got his opponent to tap at the 1:02 mark.
Cleavon Wills (0-1) vs. Michael Sanders (4-1)
A member of the Bartendaz crew, Blaq Ninja Cleavon Wills made his amateur MMA debut in this encounter, and Sanders quickly flashed his experience advantage. The action started with a wild scrap that landed on the canvas before Sanders walked it back up with a standing guillotine choke firmly applied. Unsure of how to counter, Wills was forced to tap just 44 ticks into the fight, giving Sanders the win and KAP MMA Light Heavyweight Title.
Samuel Covington (0-1) vs. Walter Howard (2-0)
The second championship bout of the evening took place in this main event pairing, with a couple of heavyweights facing off. The opening round got underway with a grapple for control, mostly occurring from the standing clinch. Covington looked to use his weight to lean on Howard against the cage, but the Ironbound Fight Club representative was able to break the body lock and peppered Covington with a flurry until the bell sounded. Once the fighters were seconds out for the next frame, Covington remained on his stool and decided not the answer the bell. The stoppage put the heavyweight strap around the waist of Howard.
ResVideo: Interview with KAP MMA promoter Karriem ABDallah